6 K-Drama Squads That Are True Friendship Goals
In K-dramas, as in life, friends make it all better. The only people with no friends are villains or beautiful outcasts who haven’t learned how to open up and connect (yet). In most dramas, even that villain will grow a friend or two by the time episode 16 rolls around.
Watching friends make each other’s lives better is one of the purest pleasures for a K-drama fan. Not all of us are in relationship land, yukking it up with back-hugs and piggyback rides, but we’ve all at least tried to make a friend at some point. The warm glow of great friends never gets old, you guys. Some dramas do a great job of capturing that feeling and bottling it. Here are six to put on repeat when life gets you down.
“Reply 1988” is pure nostalgia – for high school, for your first crush, for the friends who were by your side at every important moment. But this is not a drama that looks at life through rose-colored lenses. Instead, it highlights all the tiny, awkward, melodramatic, and strange moments of your youth that stick in your mind for life.
Like when Taek (Park Bo Gum) loses at baduk and his buddies help him cuss it out. Or when Duk Sun (Girl’s Day’s Hyeri) finds herself in need of some backup dancers at sleepaway camp. Or when the boys pretend to be soldiers on leave so they can sneak into a movie. You’re never sure which way the story’s big love triangle will swing, but as those little moments pile up, you come to know in your gut that these friends will show up for each other every time.
Check out the first episode of “Reply 1988”:
A lot of new things are a whole lot of scary – because this is your first life, your first-ever attempt! This drama shows us how great friends and scary things combine in everyday life. Most of the time, your friends help you fight the fear away. But sometimes, your friends themselves trigger your deepest insecurities. So what gives, the fear or the friend?
“Because This Is My First Life” introduces us to Ji Ho (Jung So Min), Soo Ji (Esom) and Ho Rang (Kim Ga Eun), three friends since high school who are trying to make their way through the working world and grown-up relationships with varying degrees of success. Each has hugely different needs and approaches to life, which makes for some juicy, meaty friend drama. The fun is in watching them love each other unconditionally, even as they sometimes drive each other crazy.
Check out the first episode of “Because This Is My First Life”:
“My Ahjussi” has one of the best K-drama ensembles of all time. It’s hard to find a drama like this where all of the characters are so useful and important. Some don’t get many lines, but every line they get expands the world of the drama in some way; no words are wasted.
It’s a treat to watch such a high-quality ensemble of veteran actors like Lee Sun Gyun and Park Ho San come together at Jung Hee’s (Oh Na Ra‘s) bar. As damaged but buoyant drinking buddies, they make light of their troubles through the sheer joy of being together and talking about nothing in particular. The constellation of faces changes a little from night to night, but we can easily imagine the ones who are off-screen just going about their lives, as if this was never a drama at all but just a little window into their world.
“Age of Youth”
Your early twenties are a time when you need great friends, but great friends can be hard to find. You’re not quite the person you were during high school, but you’re not fully grown yet either. How do you figure out how to make friends when you can’t even figure yourself out?
The roommates at “Belle Epoque” show just how hard and rewarding it is to make friends in a strange, new time of your life. The people who surround you may not be just like you, but getting to know them might actually change you as a person. Just look at best frenemies Yi Na (Ryu Hwayoung) and Ye Eun (Han Seung Yeon). After you’ve watched these roommates transform from hostile strangers to the closest of BFFs, you’ll wish you were there on the couch with them, listening to their stories.
If you’ve never gorged on a huge pile of food with your best friends while filling them in on the latest drama in your life, then you should definitely get that onto your bucket list. Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung), Sun Ok (Lee Joo Young) and Nan Hee (Jo Hye Jung) have turned it into an art form, complete with overflowing mountains of chicken and endlessly GIFable reaction faces for each other’s stories.
These friends are never afraid to let loose around each other, whether they’re singing their hearts out at karaoke or crying their eyes out in their rooftop hideout. When they miss each other, they run to each other with huge hugs. When they’re mad at each other, they dramatically ignore or yell at each other. Whatever they do, they do it together, even when they’re physically apart. There’s a word for that, what do they call it? Oh yes… SWAG.
Check out the first episode of “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo”:
“Search: WWW” redefines what it means to be a woman in a K-drama. There are no maidens who need rescuing, no manipulative second leads in sight around these parts. Instead, we get a trio of highly successful, happily single women (played by Im Soo Jung, Lee Da Hee, and Jeon Hye Jin), simply crushing it as they cruise around town in their Maseratis.
We’ve been conditioned to believe that successful women are not nice people and that their mission is to bring each other down. In this drama, they become friends instead. Their friendships themselves are as richly drawn, complex, messy, and emotional as the most intense K-drama romance, to the point where the drama’s romance plotlines play second fiddle. Realistic female friendship in the spotlight? Let’s make that K-drama’s future.
Check out the first episode of “Search: WWW”:
Which friend group do you wish you belonged to? Let us know in the comments below!
Azra_A spends her waking hours waiting patiently for 2PM’s next comeback (roll on 2021!). She relies on sheet masks and weird ice cream flavors to see her through (cucumber is great, ceylon is better). When she’s not watching the comeback clock, you’ll find her on Instagram.